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Jon Theodore returns with new Queens record
■ “Going into the studio [to record] this album was like a blood brothers thing where everyone slices their hands,” Jon Theodore says of Villains, the forthcoming album from Queens of the Stone Age. “It was like an acid trip. There was no exit, we’re all there and we’d be there until we came out on the other side.”
Thankfully Theodore and the desert rock heroes have come out on the other side clutching their Mark Ronson-produced seventh album. It’s an album that adds a heap of swing to the Queens’ robot rock mix, and it seems that ‘Uptown Funk’ producer Ronson was a key player in that musical shift: “Every time a Ronson cut comes on you can’t help but move your body,” Theodore continues. “So, having Mark and Josh [Homme] together and working things up with them meant we were always on the right track. Ronson was very hands-on with drums from the start.”
Theodore reveals that the bulk of the album was tracked live, without a click, but with the aid of a litle mixing and matching when it came to his kit. “Ronson has his go-to ‘Uptown Funk’ drumset which is an old Ludwig,” he says. “Josh has a bunch of trusted drums that have been on lots of Queens stuff and have been around forever with heads that haven’t been changed for 100 years.”
As well as Ronson and Homme’s tried-and-trusted setups, Theodore was also able to call upon a couple of new toys. “I’ve got a brand new set of Ludwig Vistalites which are f**king insane. I’ve broken them out for the shows that we’ve just played. We had some Masters of Maple stuff as well and some great snares. It was a real mix and match.”
Villains is released on 25 August.
Jon Theodore is back in the saddle on Villains, the new Mark Ronson-produced QOTSA album